My Fellow Citizens: Time to Speak Up.
Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you are on, if you are like me you are frustrated with our Federal government. We are racing toward economic ruin, yet the President is failing to lead and the Congress is failing to act. You may share that view or disagree; either way I trust you are frustrated at the inability of our government to effectively address the serious economic challenges our nation faces. I’m tired of feeling helpless about it so I recently wrote our U.S. Senators to express my views. In the letter, I said I was not optimistic it would make any difference unless many other concerned citizens also communicate their frustrations. Thus, I make this plea to you to make your feelings known.
We are clearly on an unsustainable economic path. Several years ago the President’s bi-partisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Bowles-Simpson) concluded as much, numerous respected economists have said so, and most recently the General Accountability Office, the government’s bi-partisan watchdog, said it. Yet our President and the Congress seem to treat this as just more hot air in Washington, D.C. Time passes; nothing gets accomplished; and the situation keeps getting worse. The future of our children and grandchildren gets bleaker and bleaker.
It has been said that the difference between a politician and a statesman is that the politician looks only to the next election and a statesman looks to the next generation. It is time for us to quit complaining to each other or the TV and demand that our politicians become statesmen. Write a letter, send an e-mail or make a phone call. Encourage your friends and relatives to do the same thing. Demand that our elected officials take off their partisan colors of red or blue and put on all the national colors: red, white and blue. Insist that they speak truth instead of regurgitating distorted, partisan talking points. Challenge them to take courageous stands instead of engaging in demagoguery and maneuvering for personal or party political advantage. Call upon them to pass a budget, to get spending under control, and to reform our tax code and entitlement programs. Tell them anything else that is on your mind. But speak up! Maybe, just maybe a growing crescendo of voices will get their attention.
Elected officials and senior appointed officials are customarily given the title of “Honorable.” It is time they all started earning the respect that title confers. Will you join me in insisting upon it?
Joseph W. Cornelison